Why community food activities are more important than ever

I set up Community Chef in order to help people to cook and eat good food, to feel well, empowered and to be more connected with others.  Recently I was asked if I thought there was still a need for community food activities. The answer is without doubt, more than ever, yes!

Here are a few issues which contextualize my rationale:

Food security
60% of all food consumed is imported and reliant of fossil fuel transportation.
Only 2% of the uk workforce are employed in primary food production.
Obesity
64% of Uk Population are overweight or obese (HSCIC)
Britain spends £6 billion a year on the medical costs of conditions related to obesity and a further £10 billion on diabetes
Vested Interests
Last year the food industry spent £256 million advertising unhealthy foods while the government spent £13 million on the Change4Life programme
Food poverty
460 registered Trussell trust food banks and an estimated 1000 non affiliated food banks. 500 000 emergency food parcels were distributed in Nov/Dec 2015.
Food Waste
We throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year in the UK, and more than half of this is food and drink we could have eaten.
Wasting this food costs the average household around £60 a month.
Social isolation
40% of UK population over 52 feel socially isolated – Age Concern
Mental health
In 2004 10% of children between 5 and 16 years treated for clinical mental health issues. In 2014 – 20% this is a 100% increase in 10 years (MIND)
Cookery statistics
90% of UK adults feel confident preparing a ready meal, 52% able to prepare a meal from fresh ingredients. 50% of Uk families eat a meal together more than twice a week, but 67% of these are in front of the TV. We as a nation spend more time watching cookery on TV than cooking . . .

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